THE Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office III (DTI-3) and the DTI Pampanga Provincial Office supports the early release of the 13th Month pay of private sector workers to help them during the present public health emergency brought about by the threat of the Covid-19 virus and the Enhanced Community Quarantine imposed on the whole of Luzon.
In a statement, Mr. Rene Romero, president of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce urged the members of the chamber to give their workers a pro-rated amount of their 13th month pay to tide them over while work is suspended during the public health emergency due to the Covid-19 threat. DTI Regional Director Judith P. Angeles noted that this call was also given by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez to the leaders of the largest companies in the country. She also said that aside from this call to businessmen, the agency is also proposing an assistance package for MSMEs whose business is affected by the Covid-19 threat. The proposed package includes provision of soft loans of up to Php 500,000 with interest as low as 0.5% per month through SB Corporation.
The DTI also reminded consumers to refrain from panic buying, as this act would only tend to exacerbate the situation and compromise the supply and prices of basic needs and prime commodities. The DTI provincial offices in Central Luzon are continuously monitoring the prices and supply of basic and prime commodities to ensure the welfare of the buying public.
A price freeze was imposed on the prices of basic goods and commodities upon the declaration of the Public Health Emergency under Proclamation 922. Business establishments are also warned against illegal acts under RA 7581 such as profi teering, hoarding and cartel all of which are considered acts of illegal price manipulation and is punishable with imprisonment and fines up to Php 2 Million pesos.
The DTI Regional Office advises consumers to report violations of the price freeze order by contacting the DTI Hotline 1-384, its text hotline 09178343330 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.